McFadden & Beaumont Bb Cornet

This is the only known example of a cornet made by McFadden & Beaumont and belongs to Jeff Stockham of the Excelsior Cornet Band.   This short lived partnership was formed in Worcester, Mass. in 1873 between George McFadden who was previously listed in city directories dealing in "hosiery and fancy goods" and Frederick Beaumont, who had previously worked for Isaac Fiske.  At first look one might think that this cornet was, indeed, made in the Fiske shop and then engraved with the name of the other business, but every part of this instrument is unique and not purchased or pilfered from Fiske.  The engraving on the bell indicates that these cornets were sold through S.R. Leland & Co.   S.R. Leland was a musician, teacher and dealer in musical publications and other merchandise by 1843 in Worcester and his music store continued in operation until about 1915.  We might guess that he was somehow involved in financing the new operation.  Interestingly, when this partnership broke up in 1874, McFadden continued making cornets without Beaumont, who presumably was the one that brought the makers technology to the business.  Subsequent cornets made by McFadden in Syracuse, NY are of superb quality, both in design and construction as can be seen here.  As nice a cornet as this one is, it is not as well designed as the Fiske that it emulates.

The historic importance of this cornet is certainly high and warranted the most careful work to bring it back to a more presentable and playable condition for us to study and enjoy.  The last photograph shows this cornet next to my Fiske Bb cornet of a similar but later design.